New York’s ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ Could Reduce Fleet’s Fuel Efficiency

by , 04/04/11
filed under: News,Transportation

taxi of tomorrow, nyc green taxi fleet, nyc taxis, new york city taxi cabs, efficient taxis nyc, fuel economy of nyc taxisNew York’s politicians are still pushing for a greener taxi fleet, but the models being considered as the “Taxi of Tomorrow” could potentially reduce the fleet’s overall fuel efficiency. Currently, about one third of the city’s cabs are hybrids, and the other two thirds is made up of gas-guzzling Ford Crown Victorias. Combined, the fleet averages 22 miles per gallon. More than a year ago, the Taxi and Limousine Commission launched the Taxi of Tomorrow competition to find a new model that will replace all of New York City’s current cabs — including the hybrids — in order to make a greener fleet. The only problem is that at least one of the models being considered only gets 21 miles per gallon, which would bring down the fleet’s fuel efficiency.

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The finalists for the Taxi of Tomorrow are the Ford Transit Connect, the Nissan NV200, and the Turkey-based Karsan. The Ford Transit Connect only gets 21 mpg, and the Gotham Gazette reported the commission would not reveal the fuel economy for the other two vehicles, and neither would their respective companies. The Ford Transit Connect and a diesel version of the Nissan are currently used in Europe, and the Karzan is still in development. None of them are manufactured in the United States.

Mark Izeman, the director of the New York Urban Program at the National Resources Defense council told the Gotham Gazette that using one of the models chosen in the ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ competition would not have environmental benefits the city is looking for. “If they go forward with one of these three finalists, it’s a step backward at least in the short term for fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions,” said Izeman.

Because fuel efficiency and emissions can only be regulated under federal law, the Taxi and Limousine Commission blames Washington for the current predicament with the competition finalists. Senator Gillibrand and Representative Nadler introduced new legislation earlier this week in hopes of changing the law to allow cities to set standards for taxi cab emissions that would mandate a 25 mpg minimum. If the legislation goes through, it is unclear if the Taxi of Tomorrow would be modified to meet the requirements.

Via Gotham Gazette



  1. jkl May 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm
    the transit connect gets lousy gas mileage in comparison to many other comparable vehicles largely because it is 500lb heavier! It's like already loaded down with 2 passengers before picking up the first one. ford sells it commercially only because it is better mpg than a full size delivery van. ford needs to use better quality steel (higher strength and thinner alloy rather than the likely low cost recycled steel available in turkey). in comparison to say, honda vehicles you can see the gvw is out of line. ford advertises a very high payload capacity but it's misplaced as the open bed of their ranger has less capacity and is more likely to be fully loaded than their t.c. van.
  2. lazyreader April 5, 2011 at 8:25 am
    Goddammit!! Yeah we know, never trust government to assess situations for itself. Why is the government picking and choosing over vehicles that obviously won’t save money. We know ethanol is a scam. Yet they have thousands of E85 vehicles on subsidized fuel prices and then they claim they save fuel and money. They can save a lot of money by trading in all those Chevy Tahoe’s for Chevy Equinox’ or better yet drive a Focus or Ford Fusion. Stop buying Prius’s, They get 48 mpg highway; while a Ford Focus gets 40 mpg highway but is Seven-thousand dollars cheaper than the Prius. That much money will save enough gas to drive around the world over 2 times. On a cost per gallon of fuel or per mile basis, the Fiesta is better than the Prius.
  3. worldhouse April 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm
    2012 is "The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All" as announced by UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon at Abu Dhabi's World Future Energy Summit held in January. He called for "a global energy revolution...a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all." In the past, the "World House" concept was introduced at the UN In NYC. An Energy Star, hurricane and seismic rated abode was temporarily assembled in 30 minutes. Scenses are on YouTube. The technology was internationally building code approved in 2007. A newer composite version building envelope is stronger and lighter with roof panels fused with photovoltaic (PV) cells in lieu of traditional roofing. The temporary assembly of a 1152 sf (107 sm) modernist styled (think IKEA)abode will require one hour. The site will again be in Manhattan, but no public announcement will be made as to the date. A house that energizes itself more than pays for itself compared to traditional products...and has thus many opponents. The intent is to establish "sustainable communities" on an international scale. Visuals of the event will be submitted to two international environmental awards. America still ranks near to the bottom in efforts to combat climate change.